CSOs demand removal of immunity for sitting President to exorcise ACB from political interference

The Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) and Centre for Democracy Watch (CDW) have challenged that Malawi cannot successfully win the battle against corruption unless Section 91 of the Constitution of Malawi is amended to allow for the prosecution of sitting Heads of State in any civil and criminal proceedings.

In a joint statement read at a press briefing in Lilongwe on Thursday, CMC Executive Director Phillip Kamangirah and CDW National Coordinator, Levi Luwemba, said this section is the source of the problems hampering the operations of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Kamangirah and Luwemba observed that due to “too much powers the sitting Head of State has, he can easily overstep his authority to interfere in the operations of the Bureau.”

Kamangirah–ACB must be freed from political hijacking in its operations–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

“The Office of the Anti-Corruption Bureau has been taken and hijacked by politicians who have looted and are continuously looting public resources through animated means of corruption. We are bleeding as a people when we see poor infrastructure development and social services due to corruption and yet nobody is able to see that our hearts are heavy with this bleeding. We strongly believe that corruption is the enemy of development and of good governance. It must be got rid of at all cost,” reads the statement in part.

In the letter, Kamangirah and Luwemba have urged the government and citizens themselves to come together to defend ACB Director General, Martha Chizuma, against the intimidation from corruption suspects.

“Corruption is a cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fiber and destroys trust. It eventually guilts the corrupt and it hardens the innocent who suffer as a result of it.  As a country we have suffered enough and now is time for us to rise and defend our resources from the “Cathedral of Thieves” who have over the years established their agents and perpetrators to suffocate innocent Malawians through corruption. We therefore call upon all Malawians of good will to stand with the office of the Anti- Corruption Bureau which is slowly being swallowed by greed politicians of the old and our time. As CMC and CDW, we believe that the worst disease in the world today is corruption. Nevertheless, there is a cure, it called transparency.

“We also believe that the power of the people is stronger that the people in power. We are therefore of the view that those who are playing with our money through corruption should stop now. Those frustrating and intimidating the operations of the Office of the Anti- Corruption Bureau should no longer continue because the wrath and anger of Malawians will be fallen upon them so soon. This is a warning to all those people who are corruptly connected in order to frustrate the efforts of ACB and its leadership in the fight against corruption,” they say.

Kamangirah and Luwemba have also called upon the leadership of the country to make sure that this office is protected and ensure that politicians stay away from interfering with the Office of the ACB in any way.

“We call upon Judiciary to execute justice as required; we call upon all Malawians to stand together in the fight against corruption; we are not renting this country. It is for us today and those generations to come. Let us defend our resources from heartless thieves. Let us defend our democracy,” they conclude.

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